- WSL / Andrew Shield

Competition has kicked off at the 2023 Harvey Norman Gold Coast Pro Junior, World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event, with the opening rounds of the event running in fun, two-foot waves at Tallebudgera today.

Event Site Event Site - WSL / Andrew Shield

Exciting young natural footer Xavier Bryce (AUS) was the standout performer on Day 1 of competition, posting the highest two-wave total of the event so far. Bryce's 14.50 (out of a possible 20) heat score included an excellent 8.17 (out of a possible 10) single ride, which he earned for a huge frontside air-reverse to solid closeout hit combination.

Gold Coaster Ty Richardson (AUS) made a late charge in his Round of 64 heat to move from last to first and progress into the Round of 32. Richardson was encouraged by the thought of surfing empty Snapper Rocks on Finals Day when he needed a score late in his heat.

"Conditions were tricky, and I didn't surf too well," Richardson said. "At the end, I got one lucky wave which I was able to get a score on, and that saved me. Surfing empty Snapper on Finals Day sounds awesome. Hopefully, the waves will be good, and I can make it into the Finals because that would be a dream."

Rosie Smart (AUS) led the charge in the women's Round of 32, winning her heat with the highest total of the round. Ellie Lambkin (AUS), Isla Huppatz (AUS) and Willow Hardy (AUS) all continued their great form in 2023, each booking a spot in the Quarterfinals

Isla Huppatz Isla Huppatz - WSL / Andrew Shield

It was a mixed day of results for the top seeds, with current WSL World Junior Champion Jarvis Earle (AUS) being eliminated in his opening round heat by Axel Curotta (AUS) and Tom Whitpaine (AUS). Earle will now shift his focus to the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro Challenger Series (CS) event, which commences this Saturday.

Other Pro Junior standouts that struggled on Day 1 included Lennox Chell (AUS), who was unable to open up his impressive power game in the small conditions as well as event favourite Sierra Kerr (AUS), who just snuck through her Round of 32 heat and into the Quarterfinals.

The 2023 Harvey Norman Gold Coast Pro Junior will run from May 3 - 5 on the beautiful beaches of the Southern Gold Coast.

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